Ann and I have a 1986 17' Bigfoot
rear bath. We've owned it for about a year now. Of that year we fulltimed 5 months, though 3 of those months were in one place with full hookups.
We love the lifestyle. We are taking the summer off to travel while fuel prices are down, intending to visit the Maritime Provinces and work our way west to British Columbia.
That is to say, we were. A couple of issues with our trailer, which we call Patience for good reason, are holding us up just now. I'd love a bit of advice. Pardon me for being long-winded but I'd like you all to know what I know from the get go.
All four sliding windows
leak, not from the seal between window frame and fiberglass but through gaps between fixed and sliding panes, created by the shrinking of the wiper. The tracks fill with water that eventually spills into the cabin. Though I have cleaned the weeps with a 12" pipe cleaner, they do not drain quickly enough to prevent overflowing of the tracks. Additionally, all of the soft parts of the window assemblies have become, to one degree or another, rigid with time. Some of them are downright brittle. There is no visible water damage from this leaking.
This is a problem I know can be fixed, but not by me. I'm not particularly handy. The manufacturer, Sun-View Industries in British Columbia, still exists and for a reasonable fee is willing to completely rework the windows
so they are like new.
The real problem is with the curbside side wall of the trailer. See photos at
This issue just surfaced a few days ago as we began our big adventure. I noticed a ¼" gap had developed between the galley assembly [fridge/sink/furnace/range] and the interior wall of the trailer. This led me to the exterior, where I noticed that the side wall below the galley window was squishy—it had some flex to it unlike anywhere else around the belly band. The fiberglass is firm, it just moves in and out with pressure from the heel of my palm.
I opened the curbside refrigerator
access panel located just below the side-wall mounted refrigerator
vent [no refrigerator
vent on the roof]. Sticking my head inside and looking up to the top of the refrigerator compartment I could see some water stains. Whether the source of the water is the refrigerator vent or the leaky window I am not sure.
Inside the refrigerator compartment all of the wood seems sound with the exception of the sheet of interior paneling, which is coming apart. Still, as a unit the fiberglass/interior paneling appears to have pulled away from the galley assembly.
From inside the cabin I stuck my head in a cabinet door of the galley assembly. All of the wood and interior paneling I could see, and I looked everywhere with a headlamp and a mirror, seems sound and I can see no water damage.
q Is this separation of the side wall from the galley assembly considered delamination?
q Though I can find no punky wood, some may exist unseen. Am I likely to incur BIG $ for repair to replace any punky wood and reattach the sidewall to the galley unit? We love our little trailer but at some point we would be better off looking for another one.
q Should I care? Is this just cosmetic and I can fill the gap with caulk and toodle down the road?
Thanks loads for your thoughts.